Dear vegans, come out of the woodwork, bask in the sunlight of delicious food, and rejoice for the reopening of vegan staple (and all-around scrumptious establishment) Dulce Vegan Bakery & Cafe. After a few months of renovations, the herbivorous gods and goddesses have heard your prayers and this popular restaurant is once again serving hungry Atlantans.
Dulce Vegan Bakery & Cafe, nestled smack dab in the middle of Kirkwood and just a hop and a skip away from Old Fourth Ward, offers a refreshingly new twist on garden-friendly treats, with baked goods and sandwiches that look deceivingly unhealthy, but actually promote clean eating.
The bakery originated after it was brought to owners Howell Belser and Idalys Sansores’ attention that a niche for vegan baked goods didn’t exist locally. Growing from an Atlanta wholesale baking company that started in 2007, Dulce exploded into one of the most popular vegan baking firms in the state with a huge following — just check out their Facebook page.
“It started out with seeing a need in Atlanta and filling it, but also having a passion for vegan foods and vegan sweets that are delicious,” explains Howell.
Known primarily for its delicious baked goods, Dulce boasts of being 100 percent vegan, using only the freshest organic and local ingredients daily. Yes, that’s right: scones, parfaits, cakes, brownies, cinnamon rolls — you name it — all vegan. Plus, good news for those who suffer with food allergies and sensitivities: gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free options exist, too.
But the food isn’t the only thing that makes Dulce the place to go. Walking in for the first time on a chilly morning, I realized there were a lot of reasons: the friendly staff that greets you when you walk in, the unique artwork made by local artists, the yellow vintage chairs and narrow hallway of wooden tables — all these things contribute to the cool, laid-back vibe that makes Dulce a comfortable place to chill, relax and, of course, eat. Oh, and did I mention the cool kombucha tea station to the left of the entrance? Yay, probiotics!
The menu consists of a variety of breakfast and lunch options. To keep things interesting there’s a weekday menu and a weekend one. You can find all your coffee options on the big chalkboard in the barista area, with a note reminding customers to ask for alternative milks (think soy, almond, etc.) or the option to choose from a list of teas. A friend had mentioned how much she loves Dulce’s coffee, so I had to try a cup (spoiler: no disappointment here, Instagram-worthy picture below).
On to food! Because I’m a devoted breakfast lover, I went with the Kirkwood Breakfast Sandwich. Usually served on a bagel, I opted for the biscuit version (they offer it with an English muffin, as well). The giant Kirkwood, named in honor of Dulce’s hip neighborhood, is loaded with vegan-friendly “cream cheese,” mountains of kale, fresh slices of tomato, delicious cucumbers and the perfect amount of avocado. Basically, it’s an ode to all things green and good, in sandwich form.
And because I couldn’t leave without satisfying my sweet tooth (and, hello, “bakery” is part of Dulce’s name), I ended the meal with a sweet bang. After staring at four rows of assorted pastries and scones, I opted for the most mouthwatering walnut chocolate chip muffin you’ve ever seen. It’s bigger than your average muffin, so save your appetite and be ready for a bonanza of baked goods. Dulce is always changing up the pastries they offer, so keep an open mind and try new flavors, or check Dulce’s social media before stopping in and take a look at the pictures of what’s being served that day.
Fun fact: There are vegan substitutions for just about everything at Dulce. Butter and cheese have alternatives, and cow’s milk alone can be replaced with soy, coconut, hemp and almond versions. Chocaholics, rest easy. Howell says, “The chocolate is absolutely real chocolate, but it is dark chocolate. A lot of dark chocolates are vegan by default. Ours is also soy-free and organic, as are most of our ingredients.”
“We always say there are three sides to the business: the food side, we have the coffee and tea, and then we have our cakes and our sweets,” says Howell. “We do a lot of special order cakes, birthday cakes, wedding cakes, baby showers — that sort of thing. And we really love it because we are able to customize a cake to really fit anybody’s allergy requirements. It’s always a happy day for us when somebody’s like, ‘You know my daughter’s turning 5 and she can’t have eggs, and she can’t have nuts, and she can’t have dairy and she’s never had a birthday cake before,’ and we’re like, ‘We can take care of this for you,’ — there’s no better feeling.”
Give Dulce Vegan Bakery & Cafe a chance — whether you’re a hard-core vegan or a self-proclaimed carnivore. Stop by 1994 Hosea L Williams Dr. NE, Atlanta. You can call (404) 624-7417 or visit dulcevegan.com to learn more about the menu, including any daily specials. Dulce’s hours are Wednesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’d like some advice about instituting some vegan practices/ingredients in your own house, make sure to ask the staff — they love pointing people in the right direction of helpful resources.
Make sure you visit Dulce Vegan Bakery & Cafe and tell them StyleBlueprint sent you! Take a photo of your delicious meal, then tag us on Instagram @styleblueprintatlanta.